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May 28, 2017

Cannes 2017 Jury Press Conference: Will Smith Loved ‘Jupiter’s Moon’ and ‘BPM’ Made Pedro Almodóvar Tear Up

Now that the awards have been handed out and Cannes has officially come to a close, the Competition jury has made it official with a press conference. Led by Pedro Almodóvar, the rest of the jurors — Maren Ade, Fan Bingbing, Park Chan-wook, Jessica Chastain, Agnès Jaoui, Will Smith, Paolo Sorrentino and Gabriel Yared — assembled in front of journalists the world over to discuss their choices and their process.

READ MORE: 2017 Cannes Winners: ‘The Square’ Wins the Palme D’or, Sofia Coppola and Joaquin Phoenix Also Honored

“Did supreme harmony reign?” they were asked at the beginning. “Was it a love fest, or was blood splattered on the walls and carpets?” Smith responded first, joking in a way that should surprise few: “It was pretty smooth and easy. I was trying to get Pedro to stop offering me sexual favors for my vote, but it was easy.”

“There was no blood,” said Almodóvar. “We all respected each other very much. That doesn’t mean we were thinking the same thing about all the films…we always respected the other members of the jury.” Asked about “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” which won the Grand Prix and tells of French AIDS activists’ efforts in the 1990s, the filmmaker became teary-eyed as he praised the film.

Smith pointed to “Jupiter’s Moon” as a personal favorite, joking that “sometimes democracy sucks” because his favorite left the ceremony empty-handed.

Following Sofia Coppola’s win for Best Director — only the second time a woman had won the prize — the female jurors were asked about the award’s significance and the state of female filmmakers in general. “I do believe that if you have female storytelling, you also have more authentic female characters,” said Chastain. “The one thing I really took away from this experience is how the world views women.”

READ MORE: Watch the 2017 Cannes Awards: Live Stream Who Won the Palme d’Or

She called this “disturbing” and expressed her desire to see more women onscreen that resemble the ones she knows in real life — women with their own agency and viewpoints. Jaoui chimed in next, citing Almodóvar as one of the few directors whose movies pass the Bechdel test and pointing to the overall lack of films that pass it as a problem. Ade made one thing clear: “We didn’t give these awards to women because they are women.

Bingbing expressed her happiness to award Best Director to Coppola, adding that she wants to “encourage female filmmakers” as they continue their efforts.

“A couple black folks won’t hurt next year either,” Smith added. “We’ll talk about that another time.”

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Source: IndieWire film

May 28, 2017

Cannes 2017 Awards Analysis: ‘The Square’ Wins the Palme d’Or, But the Real Winners Are Hollywood Alternatives

After 10 days in which a jury watched 19 competition films, the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival came down to seven prizes for six of them. It didn’t take long for the jury to make it clear that they couldn’t settle on just one of many options. Announcing a tie for the screenplay award, jury president Pedro Almodovar said, “We have our first surprise.”

But the truth was that, in a wildly unpredictable year, everything felt like a surprise. Over the course of the 2017 festival, no single feature emerged as a definite frontrunner for the Palme d’Or, and the outcome of this year’s ceremony reflects the sheer range of options — all of which stand out as explicit challenges to safe commercial bets.

It started with that screenplay award. “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos awkwardly split the stage with “You Were Never Really Here” writer-director Lynne Ramsay. Both movies are innovative genre experiments from singular directors working with American actors eager to get outside their safety zones. One of those, “You Were Never Really Here” star Joaquin Phoenix, later took the stage to accept the best actor prize. The actor thanked Ted Hope and Amazon for supporting the project, providing another reminder of the way that the festival continues to reflect the changing landscape of the film industry.

Much about this year’s Cannes spoke to that change, from the contemptuous presence of Netflix with two competition titles (both of which won nothing) to the radical choice by this year’s programmers to showcase two television shows in the lineup (“Top of the Lake” and “Twin Peaks”) in addition to a virtual reality piece (“Carne y Arena”). But at the end of the day, it was the winners that spoke to the sheer range of cinema on display at this year’s festival, and the extent to which they provided a contrast to the limited arena of Hollywood.

That much was visible when Andrey Zvyagintsev, director of Jury Prize winner “Loveless,” looked over at the jury and singled out Will Smith: “He really does exist!” At times, it can seem as though the Cannes image of a prestigious arena for cinematic achievements exists in a fantasyland of its own creation, but it was moments like this one that fed the perception that these movies could, in fact, break out of their bubbles.

And perhaps they will. Almost every single Cannes winner has already secured U.S. distribution, including the surprise Palme d’Or winner “The Square,” from Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund. (Magnolia Pictures picked it up months before the festival.) The two-and-a-half hour art-world satire was filled with brilliant scenes in its cringe-comedy portrayal of a neurotic curator — but even if many critics felt that the full picture never came together, nobody could deny that it reflected an uncompromising vision. The same could be said for “Sacred Deer,” in which Lanthimos gets A-listers Nicole Kidman and Colin Ferrell to go to insane extremes in this unnerving tale of a family that falls apart for devious purposes.

"The Beguiled"

“The Beguiled”

Focus Features

Meanwhile, Sofia Coppola’s elegant feminist thriller “The Beguiled” — which refashions the ideas of the Civil War-set story through her own expressionistic filter — may turn out to be her most accessible, outwardly entertaining feature to date, even as it shows not an ounce of compromise. That’s a good enough reason for her to make history as only the second woman filmmaker to win best director at the festival.

The jury also gave a second-place prize to Robin Campillo’s “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” a sprawling ensemble drama about the AIDS group ACT UP in Paris during the early ’90s. It was a reasonable choice for the movie, a fairly straightforward but well-acted period piece that should help catapult Campillo into an even greater arena of recognition as he joins the Cannes auteur club.

“BPM” (The Orchard) was one of two winners that struck a topical note in the outcome of this year’s competition. The other was Diane Kruger, who plays the wife of a man killed in a suicide bombing in Fatih Akin’s “In the Fade.” The movie marked her first German production and is a safe bet to further awards acclaim when the film is released.

“We don’t make films for awards, but this cost me a lot personally, so being here means more people will appreciate your work,” she said on the red carpet before the ceremony. In her acceptance speech, she added, “I can’t accept this award without thinking about anyone who has been affected by terrorism… please know that you have not been forgotten.”

Awards pundits had their money on Nicole Kidman, who had four roles in Cannes projects this year, to walk away with something. She didn’t land the actress prize, but the jury still found room for her in a special 70th anniversary award. It was almost as though nobody on this year’s jury wanted to snub the favorites of the festival, a stark contrast to last year, when few predicted that festival favorite “Toni Erdmann” would go home empty handed or that Ken Loach’s fairly routine socially conscious drama “I, Daniel Blake” would win big. This time around, virtually every well-received movie in competition got some form of acknowledgement.

“Well, it was tough,” Almodovar told one red-carpet reporter, lurking behind his ubiquitous shades. “We defended our positions very strongly. But it should be like that — completely democratic.” The prizes support that assertion: They represent a range of sensibilities, provocations, and themes, all of which will likely propel them to further recognition.

But this year’s festival may have been most impactful for a jury that included actors and directors who must now return to the industry aided by renewed perspectives on international cinema. “I’m so inspired,” juror Jessica Chastain said on her way to the ceremony. “I can’t wait to get back on the set.” But Will Smith may have said it best as he zipped into the Palais des Festival: “It was spectacular!”

Leave it to a movie star to sum up one of the most memorable Cannes editions in years, one in which old and new worlds collided as the future of the art world sat at the center of an unending debate. But at the end of the day, it was the movies that dominated every conversation, and conversations about their quality that prevailed. So it always goes at Cannes.

Source: IndieWire film

May 28, 2017

Cannes 2017: Sofia Coppola Makes History as the Second Female Filmmaker to Win Best Director

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival has come to an end in history-making fashion. When Jury President Pedro Almodóvar announced the Best Director prize to “The Beguiled” helmer Sofia Coppola, she became the second female director in the festival’s 70-year history to claim the prize. The last woman to win Best Director was Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva in 1961 for “The Chronicle of Flaming Years.”

READ MORE: 2017 Cannes Winners: ‘The Square’ Wins the Palme D’or, Sofia Coppola and Joaquin Phoenix Also Honored

Coppola earned strong reviews for “The Beguiled,” a feminist adaptation of the Clint Eastwood-starring 1971 film of the same name. Nicole Kidman, who won the 70th Anniversary Prize earlier today, plays the headmistress of a secluded school for girls in 1864 Virginia. Their lifestyle is disrupted by the discovery of a wounded Union Army solider. Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst also star.

In his A- review, IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich hailed the movie as “the mustiest and most conventionally entertaining film of Coppola’s brilliant career.” It was later named one of IndieWire’s 10 best movies of Cannes 2017.

The last time Coppola competed for the Palme was in 2006 with “Marie Antoinette.” She was famously booed for the period drama, which makes her history-making victory today all the more celebratory. In her pre-written speech (she was not on hand to accept the award), the director thanked Jane Campion for “being a role model and supporting women filmmakers.” Campion remains the only female director to win the Palme.

Focus Features will release “The Beguiled” in select theaters June 23.

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Source: IndieWire film

May 28, 2017

How Stephen Cox, Farpoint’s composer, turned an old trumpet into a sci-fi drone

Making a virtual reality soundscape takes a different approach than traditional games. Composer Stephen Cox talks us through what it was like sound designing for Farpoint on the PSVR.

The post How Stephen Cox, Farpoint’s composer, turned an old trumpet into a sci-fi drone appeared first on Digital Trends.

Source: Digital Trends VR

May 28, 2017

Watch: David Fincher is a Secret Mastermind of Visual Effects

A new video essay looks at some of the incredible (and usually invisible) VFX work in David Fincher’s films.

David Fincher may not be widely regarded as a visual effects director, but the fact is, he got his start at ILM in the early ’80s working on Return of the Jedi. Also, The Social Network has more VFX shots than Godzilla (the one from the ’90s, with P. Diddy and Jimmy Page).

In a new video essay, Kristian Williams shows how David Fincher puts his visual effects to work in the service of his narratives, and how this artistry makes him a “master of deception.”

Read More

Source: NoFilmSchool

May 28, 2017

‘Loveless’: Andrey Zvyagintsev Reveals How the Anguish of Russia is in All of Us

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s ‘Loveless’ is a bleak window into a vapid society devoid of empathy and meaning.

In 2014, Andrey Zvyagintsev made the definitive contemporary Russian film. At once, the ambitious and harrowing Leviathan is a Biblical tragedy, a classic Russian novel (in the vein of Dostoevsky), and a searing indictment of Russia’s current political situation. In the film, a poor man from a remote fishing village engages in an uphill battle against eminent domain; in the end, he loses much more than his property to the state.

Needless to say, the Russian parliament, which had contributed state funds to the production of Leviathan, publicly denounced the film. That’s why, at the film’s press conference and in a private interview with No Film School, Zvyagintsev and producer Alexander Rodnyansky revealed that they ventured outside the system to fund their next film, Loveless, which just premiered at Cannes.

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Source: NoFilmSchool

May 27, 2017

Here’s How to Make Your Gun Blast Effects Look More Realistic

Find out how to make a gunshot blast effect that looks so real it hurts.

If you’ve got a project you’re working on that includes some gunfire, one of your biggest obstacles is making sure that those gunshots look believable. If using squibs and blanks isn’t really an option for you, you can always try to sell the effect in post, but you’ll want to know a few techniques before you start dropping a bunch of smoke, spark, and blood spatter elements into your timeline.

Axel from HitFilm provides a bunch of great advice on all the things you’ll need to create a realistic gun battle, including gunshot impacts, blasts, and muzzle smoke. Check out the tutorials below!

Getting the VFX right is important for selling the illusion that a real gun battle is going on, but there are also other vital elements to consider. Make sure the lighting and color grade matches throughout all of your elements; ensure that you have good sound effects (gunshots, pops, falls, ricochets, impacts, etc.) that help sell the effect; and, finally, make your touch subtle enough so as to not draw attention to the VFX elements.

Read More

Source: NoFilmSchool

May 26, 2017

Watch: 4 Alternative Uses for Mic Stands That Will Come in Handy on Set

Mic stands can do a whole lot more than hold microphones.

Typically if you’re trying to mount lights or fly modifiers, a C-stand is the piece of equipment you look for. However, these things are expensive, heavy, and difficult to transport, so having another more affordable, less labor intensive option would make any filmmaker’s life a little easier. Enter the mic stand. They’re cheap, portable, and easy to set up on the fly, and in this video, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter shows you four alternative on-set uses for them, from holding diffusion to flying flags.

There’s a reason that C-stands are the go-to piece of gear for lighting equipment. They’re rugged, sturdy, and yes, heavy enough to handle big, bulky lights. However, if you’re working with lighting equipment that doesn’t weight very much, like LEDs and modifiers, mic stands are more than capable of handling the job.

Here are the four alternative uses for mic stands Pike mentions in the video:

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Source: NoFilmSchool

May 26, 2017

Get a Major Discount on WriterDuet Screenwriting Software Ahead of App Launch

Next month, all WriterDuet Pro customers will get access to the new iOS/Android app.

WriterDuet is often likened to the Google Docs of screenwriting. The software enables live collaboration and provides an extensive toolset for professional screenwriters.

But it’s expensive: currently, it costs $159 for a lifetime premium license, and on June 1st, the price will increase to $199. However, as a way to promote the upcoming app launch, WriterDuet is now offering the software for $127 for a limited time with promo code WDPRO20 when you buy it here.

Here’s a brief rundown of the WriterDuet Pro features:

Read More

Source: NoFilmSchool

May 26, 2017

Zane Lowe Music Keynote at the 2017 SXSW Conference [Video]

“The job is to be the conduit between the artist and the fan.” – Zane Lowe

Zane Lowe – New Zealand-born radio DJ, live DJ, record producer, and television presenter – takes us on a sonic journey during his Music Keynote at the 2017 SXSW Conference from the roots of his musical influences and driving passion to share music with others to becoming the Creative Director and LA Anchor for Beats 1, Apple’s first free global radio station.

During the Keynote, synced to a curated playlist fitting for a DJ, Lowe explores where the music industry is going, the role technology now plays, how to keep up, and the evolution of the artist’s creative control.

“Technology has freed us all and now music moves fast, and we have to move fast too.”

From streaming services to music distribution, Lowe discusses how the music industry is adapting to technology and bringing the artist, fan, and business together. In this new music world where attention is currency, fans are followers, and followers are data, music discovery through the human experience is a driving force that’s changing the game of music distribution. Lowe examines a new kind of community that has emerged, bridging the gap between artist and fan through a direct, global connection on social media platforms. Lowe also expresses his lasting belief in radio and its place in the modern age.

“Listening in a collective environment is where the moments live.”

Watch the video above for the full 2017 SXSW Conference Keynote with Zane Lowe. Get inspired by a multitude of diverse visionaries at SXSW – browse more 2017 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage, recaps, announcements, and SXSW 2018 updates.

2017 SXSW Conference Keynote, Zane Lowe – Photo by James Goulden Photography/Getty Images

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The post Zane Lowe Music Keynote at the 2017 SXSW Conference [Video] appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Music